While enforced time at home thanks to coronavirus might not be how you imagined spending your pregnancy, here are some tips for making the best of it.
1. Get prepared for your baby
Was there ever a better opportunity than this to start getting everything in order for when your baby arrives? As long as you’re feeling well enough, this is a great opportunity to get organised before you’re too heavily pregnant.
If you’re in the early days of pregnancy, you could start thinking of what you might want for your baby, and stock up on essentials, like baby-gros, online.
For mums-to-be later in pregnancy who have most of the things they need, then cook and cook some more. Your future self will thank you for those ready-made meals you'll be able to just grab out of the freezer.
If you haven’t already, set up an online shopping account where you can just choose to reorder your favourites at the click of a button. Any time hacks that you can make now will pay off in spades later.
2. Start some research about giving birth
The same goes for learning about the rest of your pregnancy and what happens in labour. We’ve got loads of useful information about labour and birth on our website. We also have information about coronavirus and pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and using formula.
3. Make a pregnancy photo diary
Have you taken any photos of your pregnant self yet? Many mums forget to, but actually, your future child will find it interesting to see what you looked like when they were “in your tummy.” And you might, too!
If you have photos of yourself at different stages of your pregnancy already, you could send them off to an online printing service. Then put them in chronological order in an album.
Writing down how you’re feeling in a diary can be a good technique for reducing anxiety, and it’ll help you later to remember how you felt during pregnancy.
4. Hello, Netflix
One of the most obvious ways to pass the time while you’re self-isolating is to binge-watch TV. And hey, go ahead. But it’ll do you good to take a break occasionally, have a walk around or phone a friend.
When you’re bored of box sets, you could take the chance to get into that bestselling novel you’ve been meaning to read for ages. You could sort through paperwork or de-clutter your wardrobe so you’ve got more room for maternity clothes. Trust us, things are going to get very busy when the baby arrives!
5. Keep on moving
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) advises remaining active by using online fitness routines, such as pregnancy yoga or pilates. Here are some tips on keeping fit and healthy if you're self-isolating.
Although you’re not going anywhere, it might help psychologically to get out of your pyjamas at a reasonable(ish) time. Getting up, dressed and walking around the house as much as possible will help you sleep better, even when the days feel like they’re lacking structure.
Your nesting instinct might have kicked in, so enjoy the excuse to get cleaning and sorting, which will keep you moving about too.
6. Get some fresh air
Unfortunately, NHS guidelines state that self-isolation means you can’t go for a walk. But if you have some outside space, you’ll feel the benefit of getting out. You could put your plants in order with some gentle gardening if you feel up to it. Or wrap up and sit outside with a hot drink.
Going outside can make you feel a lot more positive, even if it's just a balcony or patio. If you really don’t have any outside space, remember it’s important to keep rooms ventilated by opening windows. This will help prevent passing on infections to your partner or anyone else you live with.
7. Stay in touch with friends and family
The beauty of technology is that we can keep in touch in lots of ways. WhatsApp video calls and FaceTime could help you feel connected still with your friends and family. They’ll be reassured if you regularly check in on them by phone or a video call. And it’s good for your sanity, too!
For all you need to know about the top tech for keeping in touch, see here.
8. Keep informed but don’t obsess over the news
While it’s important to keep up-to-date with developments, constantly refreshing your news feed or reading worst-case scenario predictions about what might happen on social media threads won’t make you feel better.
So by all means check your phone. But give yourself regular breaks from it by putting it in another room while you distract yourself with something else. If it’s not in sight, you’re less likely to look at it.
We have even more tips here to help you feel more positive.
9. Be understanding with your partner
These are anxious times for everyone but if you’re pregnant then worries might be amplified. Even the best of us can take out worries and concerns on our partner. If both of you are working from home or self-isolating, there might be a bit of a pressure-cooker atmosphere.
Having a huge argument – and then not even being able to go for a walk to calm down – won’t be good for your stress levels. So if you find yourself getting annoyed, try to understand why you're arguing and remember you’re both probably more stressed out and short-tempered than usual. When you’re really struggling not to snap at them, go into another room to phone a friend or listen to the radio to help the emotions ride out.
If all else fails and you have a major blow out, try and talk it through when you’re calmer.
10. You’re going to be a mum…
Ok, we know you know that. What we mean is – while it’s understandable that during pregnancy many women are focused on their three trimesters and the birth – there’s also lots to think about becoming a parent too.
During all of this, try and remember you’re not alone. Not really. There’s someone right there with you. And they’re just as excited about the moment you finally get to meet.
Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.
Interactive, engaging and social, our live online antenatal course is a great way for you to meet other local parents, and get essential unbiased information and knowledge about pregnancy, birth and early days with your baby.
Read the NHS stay at home advice.
The NHS website has up-to-date information on coronavirus and how to reduce the possible spread of infection.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Royal College of Midwives and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have produced information on coronavirus for pregnant women and their families.
The Department of Health and Social Care website is being updated daily with guidance and what the government is doing about the virus.